Pan-African technology group Liquid Intelligent Technologies, which has a fibre backbone of over 100,000 kilometres across the African continent, has announced a new collaboration to deliver internet access to 20 million underserved people in Africa by the end of 2025, partnering with Microsoft.
Working together through Microsoft’s Airband initiative, the new collaboration will initially target regions that include, but are not limited to, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia. Additionally, the partnership will allow for increased proliferation of high-speed connectivity to the farthest parts of Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.
The companies say they will empower individuals and businesses in some of the United Nations’ least developed countries to help bridge the digital divide and assist in transitioning more African countries into the digital economy.
The effort will be discussed during a panel discussion at the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) which takes place in Doha, Qatar from 5-9 March.
According to the International Telecommunication Union, roughly 2.7 billion people globally remain unconnected because it’s either unavailable or they can’t afford it. Rural areas around the world are especially disadvantaged, as traditional telecom infrastructure fails to go the final mile in low-density regions.
Microsoft’s Airband Initiative partners with a wide-ranging ecosystem of organisations to design, implement and support programmes that deliver unique connectivity solutions designed for local communities and their challenges. This includes working with broadband providers, local ISPs, energy partners, international organisations and local governments to deliver internet access in unserved or underserved communities worldwide.